Logo - Calvinism - The Reformed Protestants in Germany and Europe
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Poster - Calvinism - The Reformed Protestants in Germany and Europe

Exhibiton | I. Calvin and Geneva | II. The Confession | III. The Reformed Alliances

IV. Discipline and Republic | V. Iconoclasm and New Pictorial Worlds

VI. The Word of God | VII. The New Order of Life | VIII. Traditions


IV. Discipline and Republic

In the middle of the 16th century Calvin’s teachings began to spread throughout Europe. From Geneva they were carried to the Swiss Confederation, then to France and Germany, to the Netherlands, England and Scotland, also reaching Hungary, Transylvania and Poland. The Reformer used personal contacts and correspondence to spread his doctrine. In addition, his numerous published works, which were often quickly translated into the various local languages, as well as the intermediation of Reformed preachers had a great impact. Calvinism exerted an enormous appeal over the course of many decades – no other confession gained so many followers in so short a time. Calvinism had a lasting influence on society, culture, politics, science and economics.


Reformed Protestantism developed under extremely different conditions and took on different forms. In some parts of Europe its adherents were persecuted, not only owing to their beliefs, but also because they threatened to shift the existing balance of power. In other regions, however, the ruling princes encouraged and fostered the spread of the Reformation. They profited from the commercial activities and internalized discipline of the Reformed Protestants. Moreover, structures of the Reformed churches impacted on the formation of early modern states, and in some places Calvinism allied itself with the idea of the republic. The presbyterial-synodal organization of the Reformed congregations and the principles of division of power, assembly and election practised by them offered a model for the evolving republics.

Johannes a Lasco
nach 1555
Stiftung Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek Große Kirche Emden
Debrecen 1631
Debrecen Reformiertes Kollegium (Eigentum der reformierten Gemeinde Debrecen-Kistemplom)
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